bikes

Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program encourages safe cycling at Penn State

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As more Penn Staters discover biking as an efficient way to get to, from and around campus, it is important for all cyclists to learn safe cycling habits and understand their responsibilities while biking. Beginning Sept. 18, Penn State will launch the Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program (BEEP) to encourage cyclists to create a safe environment for themselves and those around them.

A cooperative effort between Penn State University Police and Public Safety and Penn State Transportation Services, BEEP training covers safety tips, cyclist responsibilities and fines for offenses under University Policy SY16 and Pennsylvania law. Such offenses include failing to use bike lights between dusk and dawn, not stopping at stop signs, or failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. BEEP also allows police officers to ticket anyone using unauthorized devices on campus, such as e-scooters, e-skateboards and traditional skateboards, which are currently not permitted on campus, including sidewalks, or any roadways, per Pennsylvania’s vehicle code.

BEEP penalties can range from $10 to $50, depending on the violation.

BEEP also offers a way for first-time violators to waive their first ticket.

“With BEEP, we’ll have a chance to educate those who are new to cycling and might not be aware of their responsibilities on the road,” said Cecily Zhu, sustainable transportation program coordinator for Penn State Transportation Services. “Their first ticket can be waived if they pass the online training course within 10 days of receiving their ticket.”

“We want to increase awareness among cyclists to follow traffic laws and University policies as an important part of public safety on campus,” said University Police Sgt. Monica Himes, supervisor of the Community-Oriented Policing Unit. “Although it’s encouraging that accidents between bikes and motor vehicles have decreased in recent years, we are seeing an increase in bike-on-bike and bike-only accidents, as well as a steady number of accidents between pedestrians and bikes. Our goal is always to help make campus safer for everyone — pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.”

All ticket revenue will fund bike education and encouragement programming, such as free bike safety workshops and bike light giveaways.

Bike registration is required under University Policy SY16, as it facilitates the return of stolen and forgotten bikes to their owners. Cyclists can register their bicycle for free at http://transportation.psu.edu/bicycle-registration.